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DIY Kitchen Worktop Options

DIY Kitchen Worktop Options

Kitchen worktops are after the kitchen doors often the second most important consideration when planning a DIY kitchen install. Just like the doors the worktop finish and colour will be integral to the overall kitchen design and careful thought should be given to what materials will work for you. Should you go for ultra-modern? Traditional and classical? Does it need to be hard wearing or are you on a tight budget?

Kitchen worktops are after the kitchen doors often the second most important consideration when planning a DIY kitchen install. Just like the doors the worktop finish and colour will be integral to the overall kitchen design and careful thought should be given to what materials will work for you. Should you go for ultra-modern? Traditional and classical? Does it need to be hard wearing or are you on a tight budget?
With all the various considerations its no wonder you can feel lost. If you haven't taken advantage of the Kitchun kitchen planning service where we guide you through such obstacles how then do you choose?
Kitchen worktops should enhance the kitchen design style and compliment the kitchen units and door styles. They should also be of a quality which befits the kitchen project. When considering all this, the options available can be bewildering.
This guide should help you decide which is the best worktop for your kitchen, based upon the three most important factors, design, durability and cost. Helping you choose the correct kitchen worktop material for your budget and design aspirations.

Laminate Kitchen Worktops

In this case since the very recent introduction of compact laminate worktops we consider a laminate worktop to be one which is high pressure laminated onto a chipboard or other wood-based substrate. This is so we can consider the two materials separately.
Laminate kitchen worktops are the typical choice, everyone should be familiar with laminate worktops as they are so common. Their popularity is down to the fact that they quite often tick all the boxes. Easy to install, durable (to a point), available in a wide range of textures, colours or finishes there really is a laminate worktop for every kitchen.
It is typically also the more affordable choice available too. Although with the modern ultra-matte finished laminate kitchen worktops and soft touch textures the cost at the upper end can overlap that of compact laminate worktops. As you may expect at the lower end of the market, colours, textures and other options are limited.
Briefly however, high gloss laminates tend to dull if scratched, so don't use your knives without a chopping board and don't clean it with abrasive pads! Laminate worktops are also not robust enough to tolerate regular soaking, or having hot pans placed directly upon them. But strictly speaking a laminate worktop will require less maintenance than any other type of kitchen worktop, be cheaper to purchase and install, and last as long as the competition if looked after.

Compact Laminate Kitchen Worktops

Compact laminate is often called solid grade laminate due to the face that unlike traditional laminates there is no wood based substrate, instead the core material is a plastic resin-based material. The core is often coloured white or black to suit the upper and lower decorative pattern or design. So that when cut
Because of this solid core construction premium compact laminate worktops offer all the benefits of regular laminate worktops and more. Since they have a solid coloured core they may be cut or CNC machined to allow for inset and undermount sinks and built in drainer grooves.
However like traditional laminate worktops they too will scratch more easily than higher end alternatives but less so that a traditional laminate kitchen worktop. And since they are solid and manufactured from a plastic resin-based material they are also completely impervious to the ingress of water.
A relatively new material in the kitchen industry many fitters are not yet comfortable cutting and installing compact laminate worktops as without the correct tooling and care it has a tendency to chip on the decorative face when cut on site.

Solid Wood Kitchen Worktops

Solid wood worktops are easy for the DIY kitchen installer to fit
Solid wood kitchen worktop are not yet available to purchase from Kitchun due to the wide gulf in quality and availability from local suppliers. As the traditional choice however, solid wood worktops exude quality. Assuring, warm and quiet they are the perfect choice for a country cottage style kitchen.
Installation by a confident DIY kitchen fitter is still within the realms of possibility for this material. But unlike laminate or compact laminate worktops real wood surfaces will require regular maintenance which some home owners can forget. Leading to irreparable damage and premature ageing of the material. In reality all that is required is regular sealing with a food safe timber oil. Beyond this cleaning with a damp cloth is all the maintenance required.
Wooden surfaces particularly chopping boards get a bad press for their lack of hygiene. But this couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of worktops. If you look after the surface of the material and prevent scratching it will be very easy to clean and thus hygienic.
The traditional, high quality option they are more expensive than both laminate and compact laminate worktops. Especially for an attractive grain in a en-vogue solid wood finish. A wood effect laminate worktop is always a more cost effective alternative when on a budget, some of the higher.

Solid Surface Kitchen Worktops

Solid surface worktops are again more expensive than the previous options. They too are again not available from Kitchun directly as they are much more complex to design and install. Solid surface is is a non-porous, machinable, hard-wearing, stain and fire resistant material. It is also bacteria resistant. Corian Solid Surface material is manufactured by mixing Acrylic Polymer and Alumina Trihydrate. Other brands are made in a very similar fashion so solid surface is therefore an engineered surface.
Easily costing more than all the other options explored thus far, solid surface is a manmade material. The fact that is it’s man made composite material leads to some people to believe it is not as good value compared to quartz worktops of solid wood worktops. However, it is in its versatility where it excels. Solid surface can be thermoformed to create soft smooth lines, curves and contours. It can also be rebated to accept lighting tracks, wireless charge points and even speakers.
More and more solid surface manufacturers have entered the fray, so no longer is the purchaser limited to the premium Corian choice. So recently the cost of even a bespoke solid surface work top has dropped below that of an equivalent stone or quartz kitchen worktop. What must be considered however is templating and installation.
Because solid surface worktops are also 'seamless' the kitchen must be templated by a professional once the units are in situ. This is so that the joins, shape and location of built in accessories can be planned for prior to manufacture. This causes a delay in the completion of the kitchen and of course is an additional cost not incurred by other materials. A Solid surface worktop will also require professional installation. So because of all of these points we would not recommend a solid surface kitchen worktop for a DIY kitchen build.

Granite and Quartz Kitchen Worktops

Granite and quartz worktops look stunning. and are the epitome of quality. They will never be a DIY option but with the multitude of local specialists and national companies offering them then they are a valid option. Even for a DIY kitchen.
These materials can be extremely variable and not all worktops labelled as quartz or granite are created equal. With some even being a blend of natural and composite materials to ensure consistency and quality.

Quality can be variable but smaller local suppliers will allow you to choose your stone for your worktop in house. The skill and placement of the cut in the material can very much affect the final finish and the aesthetics of the surface on display.
If you have your heart set on a very variable, veined colour quartz kitchen worktop we would always recommend visiting the supplier to view the samples. For flatter or speckled finishes this is not so important.

Kitchun offer stone worktops for sale online, these are priced to include the templating, supply, installation and delivery costs. This service extends throughout mainland UK. Everything you need to get a stone or quartz worktop installed in one place.

Click to view the full range of Worktops and Kitchen Worksurfaces Kitchun sell.

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Published on Monday, 12th March 11:57am


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  • Meridien Interiors Ltd
  • Unit 62, Azura Close
    Woolsbridge Industrial Estate
    Three Legged Cross
  • Dorset
  • BH21 6SZ
  • United Kingdom
  • 01202 216688

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